What are my rights if I acquired a post-surgical infection directly unrelated to surgical site?

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What are my rights if I acquired a post-surgical infection directly unrelated to surgical site?

About 9 months ago, I was scheduled to undergo a cardiac cryoablation procedure at the hospital. I am a 52 year old male and scheduled as the 2nd case of the morning so I arrived at about 9:00 a.m. and waited to be prepped for surgery. Not long after, I was greeted by a pre-op nurse known to me only by the name of

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The hospital is liable for negligence, which is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  As an employer, the hospital is liable for the negligence of its employees which occurred in the course and scope of employment.
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's insurance carrier.
Your claim filed with the hospital's insurance carrier should include your medical bills and medical reports.  From your statement of facts, it appears that you did not have a wage loss claim; however, if you did, that should also be included.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your condition/illness to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss (if applicable) is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the hospital's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the hospital's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the hospital.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the hospital must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
It would be advisable to retain an attorney; however, the attorney will probably charge 1/3 of the amount recovered.
It would NOT be advisable to go to Small Claims Court because the maximum amount you can recover in that court might not be sufficient to compensate you for pain and suffering.


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